City Opens Discussion on Rec Program Changes

The first phase of a revamped Recreation Department is penciled in to kick off in the next fiscal year, assuming the City Council agrees this month to proceed with investing in the foundation of a three-year plan.
After signaling approval on the direction of the department redesign thus far, the City Council is expected to dive into the nuts and bolts of the program as part of its broader budget discussion. The redesign, which is being helmed by interim Community Services Director Josette Espinosa, is slated to introduce a variety of new programming for residents and relocate where its services are offered as part of a consolidation of sorts with Crowell Public Library. As part of the creation of the Community Service Department, what were independent wings for recreation and library fell under one roof.
“It’s time for us to start acting as one,” Espinosa said while presenting at last Friday’s City Council meeting. Continue reading “City Opens Discussion on Rec Program Changes”

COVID-19 Count Up to 11; City Council Preps for Financial Impact

With the city’s confirmed COVID-19 cases growing to 11 based on Tuesday’s announcement from the county, San Marino Fire Chief Mario Rueda encouraged residents to “stay the course” by adhering to social distancing recommendations and to avoid public gatherings whenever possible.
“We are still taking our cues from the experts and they are advising that we stay the course and continue on with our current procedures,” said Rueda in an interview.
Rueda took issue with several resistance efforts across the country by protestors demanding a rapid return to normalcy and a lifting of quarantine efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in strict guidelines against public or private congregation, known as “Safer at Home,” and has shut down all schools and businesses except those considered “essential” in order to contain its spread. Continue reading “COVID-19 Count Up to 11; City Council Preps for Financial Impact”

Council Near Final Budget, But Hang-Ups Remain

The budget is close to completion, but the city’s administration and City Council aren’t playing horseshoes.
They will be forced to make an 11th-hour vote on the final budget later this month to ensure the city has a formal spending plan by the beginning of September, a deadline that is already past the July 1 start of the fiscal year. The City Council, in its meeting last week, remained hung up on the Parks and Public Works Department, as well as the Recreation Department, but narrowly issued tentative approval for the other municipal departments. Continue reading “Council Near Final Budget, But Hang-Ups Remain”

Budget Planning Creates Long Hours for City Officials

When the City Council met Monday, July 2, it wasn’t for a regularly scheduled meeting; it was, instead, a continuation of its meeting from the prior Friday morning.
This continuation was born of the fact that the Friday meeting, which was a preliminary look at the formal budget proposal coming later this month, lasted more than six hours. This was not unexpected, at least as reflected in various conversations with city officials in the days leading up to the meeting. The city is, after all, undergoing a deliberately prolonged budgeting process not least because of a mutual desire to overhaul the way San Marino’s government conducts business. Continue reading “Budget Planning Creates Long Hours for City Officials”